Study

Rotational grazing and sowing of dense nesting cover significantly increases duck nesting success

  • Published source details Lapointe S., Giroux J.F.O. & Belanger L. (2000) Benefits of rotational grazing and dense nesting cover for island-nesting waterfowl in southern Quebec. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 78, 261-272

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Employ grazing in artificial grasslands/pastures

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Plant wild bird seed or cover mixture

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Exclude grazers from semi-natural habitats

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Employ grazing in artificial grasslands/pastures

    A small before-and-after study from May-July in 1992-1994 in river islands in Quebec, Canada (Lapointe et al. 2000), found that the number of dabbling ducks Anas spp. nesting in the area had increased from 143 to 263 nests following the establishment of rotational grazing and dense nesting cover (see ‘Plant wild bird seed or cover mixture’). However, fewer nests than expected by an even distribution across habitats were found in unimproved or improved pasture in 1993. More nests than expected were found in unimproved and fewer than expected in improved pasture in 1994. Nests on improved pasture had significantly lower success than those in other habitats (15% success of 39 nests vs. 47-82% elsewhere), with 33% being trampled. Nests on unimproved pasture had similar success rates (68% of 71 nests) to other habitats. Nesting densities were no higher on grazed pastures areas than other habitat types, and were lower than on areas seeded with dense nesting cover see (‘Plant wild bird seed or cover mixture’).

     

  2. Plant wild bird seed or cover mixture

    A small before-and-after study from May-July in 1992-1994 in river islands in Quebec, Canada (Lapointe et al. 2000), found that the number of dabbling ducks Anas spp. nesting in the study area increased from 143 to 263 nests, following the establishment of dense nesting cover and rotational grazing (see ‘Graze semi-natural habitats’). Density of nests on fields seeded with dense nesting cover in 1993 as higher than other habitats in 1994 (7 nests/ha vs. 1.1-2.8 nests/ha for other habitats). Nesting success in seeded fields was also higher (82% success for 64 nests) than in improved pastures (15% for 39 nests).

     

  3. Exclude grazers from semi-natural habitats

    A small controlled study from May-July in 1992-4 in river islands in Quebec, Canada (Lapointe et al. 2000), found that, in 1993, more duck nests than expected by an even distribution were found in idle fields, from which cattle were excluded, whilst fewer than expected were found on improved or unimproved pasture. In 1994, unimproved pasture held more than expected as well, but improved pasture held fewer. Nests on improved pasture had significantly lower success than those in other habitats (15% success of 39 nests vs. 47-82% elsewhere), with 33% being trampled. Nesting densities were no higher on idle areas than other habitat types.

     

Output references

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read latest volume: Volume 17

Go to the CE Journal

Subscribe to our newsletter

Please add your details if you are interested in receiving updates from the Conservation Evidence team about new papers, synopses and opportunities.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust